Marina Bellini\u2019s career journey has shaped her unique perspective and leadership playbook. She started out in Big 4 consulting and then spent several decades working across three global, big-brand CPG companies. Most recently, she made the shift from CI&DO to COO at Latin America\u2019s largest bank, Banco Ita\u00fa, where she is leading a major operating model transformation. \n\nIn a recent episode of the Tech Whisperers podcast, Bellini opened up her leadership playbook to share what she\u2019s learned about leading organizational transformation, successfully transitioning into different industries, and measuring your impact as a digital leader. Afterwards, we spent some time focused on a few more of the guiding philosophies she uses to communicate and galvanize people around a vision, build cohesive cultures, and help people stretch and grow with confidence as they expand beyond their comfort zones. What follows is that conversation, edited for length and clarity.\n\nDan Roberts: One of the leadership expressions you frequently use is \u2018I don\u2019t want to be right.\u2019 That can be a surprising thing to hear an executive say. What do you mean by it?\n\nMarina Bellini: What happens quite often \u2014 it happened probably three or four times yesterday \u2014 is, I\u2019ll say something, and at first people are not going to agree with me or not going to understand what I\u2019m saying. And then eventually they say, \u2018Oh, you\u2019re right.\u2019 And I say, \u2018I don\u2019t want to be right!\u2019 I want my idea, your idea, and then from that, a better idea.\n\nI have no love for my own ideas. Sometimes people think, \u2018I\u2019m going to say that she was right, and she\u2019s going to be happy.\u2019 I\u2019m never happy by people telling me that I was right, or I\u2019m right. I\u2019m happy by building better ideas, when people exchange differences in opinions. So I say, \u2018I don\u2019t want to be right,\u2019 because I really don\u2019t want people to take what I say and just do it. I want them to take what I say, think what they think, talk about it, and we\u2019re going to get to a better place.\n\nHow long does it take for a new organization and new colleagues to understand that you mean that \u2014 that you genuinely want the dialogue? You talk about how you want to create the force multiplier. How long does it take people to really buy into that?\n\nIt all depends on the people. I think there\u2019s no time for an organization, but it does take time for different people inside the organization. People that are very used to a command-and-control type of leadership take forever because they don\u2019t believe you when you say, \u2018I don\u2019t want to be right.\u2019 People that are really looking for this approach of, let\u2019s partner to make it better, they get it. You don\u2019t even need to explain it. It all depends on the frame of mind and experiences people have had before.\n\nSo I don\u2019t like to judge that for an organization, because in the end, this is a person-by-person reaction to, let\u2019s have more conversations, you know \u2014 it\u2019s not the boss that\u2019s always right and that\u2019s okay. She says it and she means it.\n\nSo many of your expressions are based on your humility, and that one\u2019s a great example, because a lot of leaders want to be right and be told they\u2019re right. In a similar vein, another saying of yours is \u2018I don\u2019t have a crystal ball.\u2019 Can you unpack that for us?\n\nSome people like to think that they have a crystal ball. It makes them feel good. But I\u2019d get worried, because if I would think that I have a crystal ball, then I would be so damn sure of things that I should not be sure about. So I don\u2019t have a crystal ball. Because again, it is about experimenting, it\u2019s about learning, it\u2019s about, yes, trying to draw patterns, as you said on the podcast, but not because you\u2019re guessing something. It\u2019s about collecting knowledge, and everybody can do that.\n\nI also want people to be happy for not having a crystal ball, where they tend to be scared when they don\u2019t know the answers. You cannot predict, but sometimes you get it right because you have experience, because you\u2019re reading the data, because you are experimenting with the consumer. But it\u2019s not because you have a crystal ball. I really want people to feel that this is something good, because there is sometimes this belief that you\u2019re going to grow more experience, you\u2019re going to go higher in the organization, and you\u2019re finally going to have a crystal ball. Never, ever.\n\nYou\u2019re all about the learning journey and providing people with the North Star. As part of that, you\u2019ll say things like, \u2018You don\u2019t know less; you know different.\u2019 What does that mean and how is that part of the learning journey?\n\nPeople tend to think, I know less because I am less senior, because I don\u2019t have the experience that you have. Because you have been here for 20 years and I\u2019ve been here for 20 days, I know less. One is from sales and the other is from a support function, and the support function knows less.\n\nNo, you don\u2019t know less, you know different. Let\u2019s talk about the different perspectives you have. You can have amazing ideas from anyone in the organization, right? So when people put themselves in positions of \u2018I know less,\u2019 I always say, \u2018No, you just know different, and this is great. Be happy with that.\u2019\n\nI think it\u2019s a way of motivating people and helping find their talents, their strengths. In big transformations, people tend to lack that self-confidence. And high-level of self-confidence is what, in the end, will move the organization. It\u2019s not arrogance; it\u2019s learning. And feeling smaller doesn\u2019t help anyone. So I think we, as leaders, have the obligation to tell people, \u2018You don\u2019t know less; you know different. Let\u2019s join forces here.\u2019\n\nThis next one might sound contrary to what you just shared. What are some situations where you might say, \u2018Don\u2019t be an over-learner\u2019?\n\nLet\u2019s say you move to a different department. You used to be in the architecture team and now you\u2019re on the business-facing team. You\u2019re on this new team and you think that you don\u2019t know anything. And then you move countries, and you think, I don\u2019t know anything about this country. And then you move from IT to operations, and you don\u2019t know anything about operations.\n\nYou don\u2019t need to learn everything. I got this advice when I joined Ita\u00fa. A very senior leader from the finance industry said to me, \u2018Don\u2019t think that you don\u2019t know enough. You have your experience.\u2019 When we get new challenges, there\u2019s this pendulum \u2014 either people think they know it all, or they think they don\u2019t know anything. Don\u2019t be an over-learner. And remember what you know. You have to learn, but you\u2019re going to make parallels, you\u2019re going to find patterns, you\u2019re going to reuse that.\n\nI\u2019ve been practicing that, trying to at least, now joining a new industry, joining in a new type of role, in a new country for me, in a sense \u2014 I\u2019ve been away for 20 years. Not everything is different or has changed. I had this great advice a few months in when there was this feeling that I don\u2019t know anything. Like, what do you mean, right? So I love this expression. Don\u2019t be an over-learner either. Life is about balance.\n\nYou also have a great philosophy around multitasking: \u2018I can multitask in a day, but not in a minute.\u2019\n\nThat means when I\u2019m doing something, I\u2019m focused on that. If I am with my kids, I\u2019m not meeting, I\u2019m not on my emails, I\u2019m not on my phone. If you need to talk to me, don\u2019t text me, don\u2019t message me, give me a call. My phone is somewhere close to the door, volume on. I\u2019ll pick it up.\n\nI do believe in focus. That doesn\u2019t mean I don\u2019t multitask, because when I look back, an hour, a day, a week, a month, how many different things I get to work on \u2014 people think that I multitask when they see the outcome, and they say, \u2018Oh, how do you multitask so much?\u2019 I say, \u2018I don\u2019t multitask in a minute; I multitask in a day.\u2019 I believe in focus in the moment. And this is valid for your professional life, personal life, for life.\n\nAnother expression you have that might surprise people is \u2018I don\u2019t love technology.\u2019 But then you\u2019ll continue the thought after a pause. Tell us about that one.\n\nI say it a lot: \u2018I don\u2019t love technology.\u2019 And then I stop and stay quiet. And then I say, \u2018I love what we can do with technology.\u2019 You have to say that over and over again, not just to your IT team, but sometimes to your executive team colleagues that read in the newspaper about this new technology that they heard the competition is using and we are not. Who cares? Of course we care. But it\u2019s not about the technology. It\u2019s about what you can do with that technology. And sometimes, you\u2019re not going to use that technology. And that\u2019s okay. Because that\u2019s not what\u2019s addressing the opportunity you are trying to capture or the gap you\u2019re trying to close.\n\nI usually take a long time between saying, \u2018I don\u2019t love technology,\u2019 and saying, \u2018I love what we can do with technology,\u2019 because I want people to try to reflect and think about it. You can get in endless conversations and fall in love with technology and I don\u2019t think that helps anyone.\n\nFor more lessons from Marina Bellini\u2019s leadership playbook, tune in to the Tech Whisperers podcast.